Many children of active-duty, National Guard or Reserve members are now members of single-parent families, an unfortunate consequence of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and America’s war on terror. In many cases, this also means their chances to attend college are greatly diminished. Children of military personnel who die on active duty are entitled to receive money toward a college education. Those children may be entitled to the Survivors & Dependents Education Benefits or the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (part of the Post 9/11 GI Bill). But it’s not enough.
In today’s dollars, the Survivors & Dependents Education Benefits will pay little more than half of what a college education costs in the most affordable situation. The Fry Scholarship leaves gaps in payment for books, fees, and supplies, and additionally, the Fry Scholarship is subject to yearly appropriations by Congress. The gap widens when considering the cost of a college education in the future. The most conservative estimate is that costs will increase by 5 percent per year, meaning that in 16 years, the most affordable college education will be $106,300. Military compensation will not keep up with these dramatic increases.
The American Legion’s Legacy Scholarship Fund is designed to help fill the gap for these children. Providing for the children whose parent dies while serving our country is a civic duty. An education is a powerful way to show our thanks. That is why The American Legion established this scholarship. All monies donated to the fund go directly to endow the fund for future needs. The American Legion absorbs all administrative costs for the American Legion Legacy Scholarship. All contributions are tax-deductible.